Demonic possession, cries for help: Read the chilling true story behind the Conjuring’s creepy Annabelle doll

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Sep 26, 2017 11:30 AM IST

If you thought the Conjuring movies were scary, wait till you read the terrifying real story behind the creepy Annabelle doll.

Annabelle: Creation is on the verge of crossing $300 million (almost Rs 2000 crore) at the box office, an impressive tally for a horror sequel produced for just $15 million. While many would know that the series is inspired by the real-life adventures of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (played in the Conjuring series by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga), not many would know the terrifying story behind the creepy doll in the Annabelle movies.

“Positively do not open,” reads the message under the cabinet in which Ed and Lorraine put the possessed Annabelle doll.
“Positively do not open,” reads the message under the cabinet in which Ed and Lorraine put the possessed Annabelle doll.

Well, let’s sort that out, shall we?

According to the official website of the New England Society for Psychic Research - the organisation founded by the Warrens - Annabelle’s story began in the ‘70s. And while the doll in the movies was deliberately made to look creepy, in reality, she was just a regular old Raggedy Ann doll, given to a college student named Donna by her mom.

The Warrens with the real Annabelle doll. (The Warrens’ Occult Museum.)
The Warrens with the real Annabelle doll. (The Warrens’ Occult Museum.)

The activity began slowly. “The doll mysteriously seemed to move about the house, relatively small movements at first, such as a change in position, but as time passed the movement became more noticeable,” the story reads. “Donna and Angie (her roommate) would come home to find the doll in a completely different room. Sometimes the doll would be found with legs crossed,arms folded, other times it would be found upright, standing on its feet. Several times Donna sometimes left the doll on the couch before leaving for work, and would return to find the doll back in her room on the bed- with the door closed.”

Then came the messages.Donna and Angie began to find messages on written on parchment paper - even though there was no parchment at their home - that read “Help Us” and “Help Lou”. “The hand writing as if written by a small child.”

One night, after finding the doll in her bed, and seeing what appeared to be blood drops on its back, the college girls called for help. A medium arrived, and told them the story of Annabelle. “Annabelle was a young girl that resided on the property before the apartments were built. She was a young girl of only seven years old when her lifeless body was found in the field upon which the apartment complex now stands.”

The story terrified Donna, but the final straw was her friend Lou’s experience. Lou was another roommate. After waking up with a jump one night, he “found himself grabbing for his chest, doubled over, cut and bleeding. His shirt was stained with blood and upon opening his shirt there on his chest was what looked to be 7 distinct claw marks, three vertically and four horizontally, all were hot like burns. These scratches healed almost immediately, half gone the next day, fully gone by day two.”

Sensing that the spirit might be demonic, Donna turned to her parish priest for help. The priest called the Warrens, who came to the conclusion that “inhuman spirit(s) can attach itself to a place or object and this is what occurred in the Annabelle case.”

“The spirit,” the story continues, “was essentially in the infestation stage of the phenomenon. It first began moving the doll around the apartment by means of teleportation to arouse the occupants curiosity in hopes that they would give it recognition...The next stage of the infestation phenomenon would have been complete human possession. Had these experiences lasted another 2 or 3 more weeks the spirit would have completely possessed, if not harmed or killed one or all of the occupants in the house,” the Warrens said.

Lorraine Warren with the doll.
Lorraine Warren with the doll.

They called for an exorcism, specifically an “Episcopal blessing,” which is “a wordy, seven page document that is distinctly positive in nature. Rather than specifically expelling evil entities from the dwelling, the emphasis is instead directed toward filling the home with the power of the positive and of God,” said Ed Warren.

The Warrens took the doll from Donna’s home, but could sense the spirit’s malevolence in the drive back. “The car swerved and stalled with every corner causing the power steering and brakes to fail. Repeatedly the car verged on collision.”

Upon arriving home, they had a special case built for the doll, “which is where it resides to this day” and the point from which the movies’ story begins.

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